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Administration on Aging (AoA)

Affordable Care Act: Opportunities for the Aging Network

This page highlights program and funding opportunities within the Affordable Care Act that relates to the mission and vision of AoA and the Aging Network

What’s New: Discharge Follow-Up Appointment Challenge

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced a Discharge Follow-Up Appointment Challenge for care transitions. The goal of the challenge is to inspire straightforward, information technology-based tools to replace the current system of scheduling follow-up appointments and post-discharge testing. At the moment, the system is largely manual and often unreliable, forcing many patients to leave the hospital without confirmed follow-up appointments.

An effective and easily accessible web-based tool would ensure that follow-up appointments and post-discharge tests are confirmed prior to leaving the hospital, which would be a significant step toward smoother and safer transitions. More successful transitions would mean lower hospital readmission rates, in addition to better health and better care coordination at an affordable cost. The Discharge Follow-Up Appointment Challenge serves to promote healthier transitions, with the hope of releasing a tool that can eventually be adopted and connected at the community level.

The aging network is encouraged to promote the challenge locally among their care transitions stakeholder partners, including health systems, hospitals and physician group stakeholders and to be active participants in connecting long-term services and supports (LTSS) to information technology. The winning applicant for the Discharge Follow-Up Appointment Challenge will get the opportunity to work directly with a community to implement the innovative technology tool across a local care transitions collaborative.

The deadline for applications is May 1, 2012. For information about the challenge, please visit:

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Overview: Affordable Care Act and the Aging Network

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed historic health care reform legislation into law. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (also known as the Affordable care Act or the ACA) provides new opportunities for older adults, caregivers and individuals with disabilities by:

  • Providing better care by better aligning medical care with easily accessible, participant-centered home and community-based supports and services
  • Promoting better health through health education, assessments, disease prevention and health promotion programs
  • Lowering cost through efficient high-quality services, payment system reform, fraud education and prevention

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers many opportunities for the Aging Network to be full partners in health systems reform. There are ten titles in the ACA and the Network has the potential, either directly through AoA funded programs or through partnership with other Federal agencies, to play a significant role in the implementation of the law.

Summary of the Affordable Care Act and Opportunities for the Aging Network (PDF, 59KB)

Link to Affordable Care Act (full law) here (PDF)

Link to Affordable Care Act (amendments) here (PDF)

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Current Funding Opportunities

This section includes open funding announcements related to the Affordable Care Act. State and local agencies must check individual eligibility requirements to determine if their organization is eligible for funding.

Community-base Care Transitions Program
Medicaid Health Homes (PDF)
Balancing Incentives Program (PDF)
Health Care Innovation Challenge

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Medicare and Medicaid

This section provides some initial examples of funding and program opportunities and provides many resources for obtaining more information within the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Outreach and Education: The Affordable Care Act strengthens Medicare and provides new benefits and services to beneficiaries that improve quality of care while also extending the life of the Medicare Trust Fund. The law makes investments to prevent, detect and fight fraud and increase outreach and education so beneficiaries may access the full range of services for which they are eligible.

Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP)
Stop Medicare Fraud Now
Medicare Outreach and Assistance in Low Income Programs and Prevention Grants

Care Transitions: New programs increase incentives to improve coordination between hospitals, physicians and community service providers that help reduce health care costs through prevented readmissions while supporting individuals and caregivers who experience a transition in their care setting.

Partnership for Patients
Funding Opportunity: Community-base Care Transitions Program
Money Follows the Person

Medicaid Waiver: The law provides opportunities to states to improve access and services within Medicaid Waiver Home and Community-based Services programs, building person-centered care systems and improve outcomes and care coordination for individuals with Medicaid and those dually-eligible for Medicaid and Medicare.

Funding Opportunity: Medicaid Health Homes (PDF)
Funding Opportunity: Balancing Incentives Program (PDF)

Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office: The law creates the new Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office to coordinate efforts between the programs and across Federal agencies, states and stakeholders to ensure dually-eligible beneficiaries have full access to seamless, high-quality and cost-effective care.

The Alignment Initiative
Medicare Data for States
State Demonstration Contracts to Integrate Care for Dual-Eligibles

Innovation Center: The law invests in innovation through the new Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). The Innovation Center provides resources to rapidly test innovative care and payment models that simultaneously archives the three-part aim to improve health for populations, improve health care quality and lower health costs.

Accountable Care Organizations

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The Affordable Care Act supports community and clinical prevention services as well as strengthens public health infrastructure. This section provides some initial examples of funding and program opportunities and provides many resources for obtaining more information pertaining to health and wellness programs and preventive benefits.

Medicare Preventive Benefits: Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicare now provides beneficiaries under Original Medicare preventive benefits such a yearly wellness visit, customized prevention plan, tobacco cessation counseling, a range of no-cost screenings for cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

CMS Guide to Medicare Preventive Services (PDF)

National Prevention Strategy: The Affordable Care Act develops the first ever National Prevention Strategy, a comprehensive plan that will help increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life. The Strategy pulls together resources, programs and efforts across Federal departments to incorporate prevention and healthy living into all aspects of our lives.

National Prevention Strategy (PDF)
Fact Sheet

Million Hearts: Million Hearts is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. Million Hearts brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke. Communities are encouraged to engage in the campaign by support activities, increase awareness and promote health living through the campaign goals.

Million Hearts Community Organization Pledge

Community Transformation: Created by the Affordable Care Act, the Community Transformation Grants (CTG) program supports states and communities that tackle the root causes of poor health that also contributes to high health care costs. Grants were awarded in 61 states and communities to help build capacity and partnerships to address the challenges presented by chronic diseases and health disparities and are distributed among state and local government agencies, tribes and territories, and state and local non-profit organizations.

CDC Community Transformation Grants Program

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ACA Webinars and Technical Assistance Resources

AoA Care Transitions Toolkit

Affordable Care Act Webinar Series:
This series of webinars focuses on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (also known as the Affordable Care Act, or ACA) and its impact on older adults, people with disabilities and the aging and disability networks.

To play wav files you need a plug-in such as QuickTime, which is a free download.

  • Care Transitions 1: What Do These Programs Look Like? And How Can the Aging Network Play a Role? (January 24, 2011)
  • Care Transitions 2: Making the Programmatic Case (February 9, 2011)
  • Care Transitions 3: Making the Business Case (February 23, 2011)
  • Care Transitions in Action: From Hospital to Home in Two Communities (March 30, 2011)
  • Partnership for Patients: The Community-based Care Transition Program (April 20, 2011)
  • Building Community Technology Systems to Support Care Coordination (May 31, 2011)
  • Utilizing Patient-Centered Technologies to Support Care Transitions (June 21, 2011)
  • Aligning Systems for Medicare-Medicaid-Enrollees (July 5, 2011)
  • Defining Communities: Partnerships between QIOs and the Aging Network (September 27, 2011)
  • Medication Management Tools and Resources (October 25, 2011)
  • The Health Care Innovation Challenge (December 8, 2011)
  • Transitions and Long-Term Care: A Look at MDS 3.0 Section Q and Money Follows the Person (January 30, 2012)
  • Million Hearts (February 28, 2012)
  • Transitions and Long-Term Care: Reducing Preventable Hospital Readmissions among Nursing Facility Residents (March 27, 2012)
  • Plan-Do-Study-Act Cycles and How They Can Accelerate Quality Improvement in Your Organization (April 24, 2012)
  • Managed Long-Term Services and Supports 101 (May 29, 2012)
  • Managed Long-Term Services and Supports: Engaging in the Stakeholder Process (June 27, 2012)
  • Managed Long-Term Services and Supports: Engaging in the Stakeholder Process (Part 2) (July 24, 2012)
  • Integrating Care: Partnerships between Community-Based Organizations and Accountable Care Organizations (September 28, 2012)
  • Building Integrated Care Coalitions: The California Community of Constituents Initiative (December 11, 2012)
  • Promising Practices in Medicaid Managed Long-Term Services and Supports (January 29, 2013)
  • Managed Long Term Services and Supports: Measuring Outcomes (February 26, 2013)

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Last Modified: 9/16/2014